Like a character out of Tom Sawyer I spent my day bathing and reading on the trampoline and checking my line at the back of the boat, occasionally playing with the line as though I knew what I was doing.
It was as we were commenting on the huge waves coming at us that the reel of Dave’s fishing rod began to screech and we all jumped up like a bunch of excited monkeys, swinging around bars and leaping from bench to bench. Of course I instinctively grabbed my camera when I should have been sheeting the gib to slow us down. Vincent sprang into action whilst the rest of us just stood and marvelled at the master in action.
The next 24 hours became a blue of slamming, spray, 5 metre waves and queasiness. Most of the watches were done in saloon, though I preferred being outside, harnessed in and riding the boat as if on a surf board! It was either feel sick and feel sh!tty, or see it for what it was and make the most of it.
A fellow yachtie we bumped into in the showers warned us of Force 9-10s and 9 metre waves. This didn’t really phase us since Vincent was a grand yacht master (though I don’t know anyone who would want to see him put to the test in those kind of conditions) and the rest of us actually wanted to see 9 metre waves! (How foolish!)
And that was it. The three remaining crew members packed their bags and we hailed a passing boat and got off Voyager. I shook Paul’s hand and wished him luck, vaguely guilty that we had had a good working relationship, but I knew I had done the right thing.
My stay in Sintra, however, was topped by a visit to the enchanting Quinta de Regaleira. Although the house was interesting it was the garden that could not fail to impress. Set in large tiers this steep tangle of orchids and large trees was littered with castle turrets and water features, but it was the Initiation Well that really blew me away. The well was over 60 feet deep and wide enough to walk down. Truly this was something out of Tomb Raider as I descended down the well via a stone staircase bordered by large archways.